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Olumide Popoola, author of When We Speak of Nothing. Image from The Guardian Nigeria.

Olumide Popoola, Nigerian-German author of When We Speak of Nothing, will be curating a star-studded 2018 festival of African writers in Berlin. The event, themed “Writing in Migration,” is presented by the literary agency InterKontinental, and will be attended by writers from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.

For the first time a festival by and for African writers will take place in Berlin April 26th – 28th 2018 presented by the literary agency InterKontinental and curated by German-Nigerian author Olumide Popoola. The festival takes up issues of transnationality and transculturality and commits itself to the topic of migration in the sense of “being on the move” under the title “Writing in Migration.”

For three days African life realities and experiences will be broached by means of prose and poetry in the course of talks, readings and roundtable discussions. What does it mean to live and write after a forced or voluntary move to Europe / the USA? How do African writers process constant movement through spaces and identities? Is there a responsibility towards tradition or even an African identity?“Writing in Migration” takes writers, whose books are literary visions and setting trends internationally, across continents to Berlin. Alongside curator Olumide Popoola they urge their audience to read outside the box. Berlin’s first festival for African literature is sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation as well as Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

In attendance from Nigeria: Chris Abani, Chinelo Okparanta, Chika Unigwe, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Romeo Oriogun, Helon Habila, Jude Dibia, Ayobami Adebayo, Leye Adenle, and Elnathan John. From Kenya: Yvonne Owuor and Abdilatif Abdallah. From South Africa: Zukiswa Wanner, Niq Mhlongo, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Pumla Gqola. From Uganda: Jennifer Makumbi, Clementine Ewokolo Burnley, Nick Makoha, and Musa Okwonga. From DR Congo: JJ Bola. From Zimbabwe: Brian Chikwava and Linda Gabriel. From Ghana: Jessica Horn. From Germany: Maroula Blades.

The event will be held from 26–28 April 2018, at Kino Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 3010178, Berlin, Germany.

Find out more HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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